Aryans: migrants to India who spoke an Indo-european language, whose homeland may have been near the Caspian Sea. They reserved their own distinctive culture.Migrated around 2000BC. Brought with them religious concepts that included the sacrificial use of fire and soma. A major source of the Brahmanical tradition. Nomadic people. It was probably the search for new land for their cattle that brought them to India. Vedas (Samhita Vedas): four metrical hymnals of the Vedas. Consist of the Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. Hindi?s believe that the Veda?s embody all the truths of Hinduism. The earliest portion of the Vedas. Collection of mostly poetry. Sacrifice yaina: the fire sacrifice. Fire is an important power in sustaining the universe. Agni: the god of fire. Fire is thought to be most important because it is thought to be the messenger between the gods and humans. One of the names applied to the sun, sometimes applied to lightening. Fire is important for sacrifices. Agni is the mediator between humans and gods. Indra: classic storm god. Similar to Zeus. He is a fighter, his big accomplishemnt was slaying the serpent so the valleys would have water. Initially he is a warrior god and was addressed as king. Presented as the one who makes life possible. Mantra: a word or formula spoken by a person. Words carry power Brahman: Universal spirit. In the Upanishads it he one god and the self. Absolute reality Fire altar: altars in which one could worship the gods through ritual. There was the horse sacrifice that sacrificed horses, or human- like creatures. Otherwise food and offerings were thrown into the fire for the gods. Soma: a drink that was made by some unknown plant. Noted in religious texts and an intoxicating drink. - The third most important diety in the Rg Veda. Soma sacrifice is the main feature of the ritual of the Rg Veda. Bhakti: worship of devotion Dharma: The proper way of living your life. What you ought to do by the fundamental laws of the universe Tapas: heat, and heat within. The heat of the fire. The heat that the yogi generates within himself, through meditation, discipline. Takes the place of Agni in the fire sacrifice Purusha: thousand headed, thousand eyed, thousand footed. Whatever is and whatever will be, everything is made from him. Sacrificed for the universe. Varna: the four social classes Brahmin: priest-like figures, in the first class of the four classes. Also the law-givers, thinkers and judges. Kshatriya: rulers or called the rajanyas. The second social order, kings, vassals and warriors. Vaishya: the class of landowners, merchants and moneylenders. Shudra: class of workers, the servants of the three other classes. Upanishads: attached to the Vedic samhitas. They represent the final stage in the development of the Vedic religious thought and the last phase of Brahmanism. They are the end of the Vedanta (Veda). Considered speculative treatises. Probes for new interpretations of the earlier Vedic concepts to obtain a more coherent view of the universe and man. (600-200BCE) Philosophy and ethics Atman: self. Originally the Sanskrit reflexive pronoun. Means the essence of oneself, not the physical body. ?Tat vas asi?: that you are. Sanskrit. Asceticism: fasting, withdrawal into the forest etc. Practiced to enlighten. Renunciation: most intense form of asceticism. People who give up all connections, possessions in society. An image of someone who wanders and begs for enough food to sustain themselves. Most rigorous form. Complete break from society, and center on spiritual enlightenment. Guru: a spiritual leader who teaches others the way of life. Your local spiritual authority. Bhagavad Gita: a text that is song of the lord. In it is the epic of Krishna and the prince Arjuna, which Krishna tries to convince to slay the enemies but the prince refuses. Karma-yoga: the discipline of action, based on the Bhagavad Gita. The path of action Ramayuna: the great epic of Rama. His story from being exiled to defeating Ravana and becoming king. Rama: the great epic of Rama, who is the natural heir to his father?s throne but is banished by his stepmother to the forest with his wife. He becomes king, he is seen as a great embodiment of dharma. praised Sita: Rama?s wife, who is abducted by Ravana but rescued by Rama. Bhakti-yoga: practice of love, devotion, emotion to the gods and others. Krishna: a variation of Vishnu, common seen as a child or blue and playing a flute, dancing. Vishnu: sustains the world. Avatar: a deliberate descent of a deity to earth. Are usually represented as blue. Supreme beings Shiva: a great ascetic, the god who practices the most extreme austerities Devi: Devi means goddess. Refers to the Great Goddess, or mother nature type. She is greatly feared. Many manifestations, and not documented in song but found in temple dedications. Shakti: or the Goddess Devi. Minor goddesses and deities carried within this. Linga: a representation of Shiva. Phallic symbols Ganesha: child- elephant headed deity. Shiva?s wife created a child on her own, Shiva didn?t recognize him and killed him. He killed an elephant and place the head of the body of his son. Typically with four arms. He is the remover of obstacles, the giver of blessings, his mascot is a rat, associated with students doing well in their studies and is one of the most popular deities. Manu Smrti: the law books and epics Student: twice-borns. Have a physical birth then a spiritual after knowledge, they learn language, master the Veda?s Householder: the top of the four stages of life. Hermit: lifestyle achieved in later life by householders. (forest dwellers.) Meant to produce salvation or a higher level of human experience. Sanyasin: the life of an ascetic, completely renouncing worldly life to devote to spiritual Varna-ashrama-dharma: varna is the four classes of Hindi society, ashrama is the four different stages of life, with householder being the top. Dharma is doing things in the right way Artha: householders pursue the goal of artha, wealth and power Kama: the god of love. The goal of householders aswell; pleasure, sophisticated understanding. Does not just pertain to sex, but art etc, Moksha: escaping the realm of sorrow. Enlightenment. Samsara: the cycle of rebirth and regeneration for everything. Four Noble Truths: Buddhist teaching. 1) dukkha or suffering/ unhappiness. 2) the arising of suffering 3) Dukkha can be stopped. 4) the method for stopping suffering is the 8-fold path OR 1) all life is inevitably sorrow 2) sorrow is due to craving 3) it can only be stopped by stopping the craving 4) that can only be done by the careful discipline. Nirvana: equated to Buddha?s body of essence. Bliss and no longer existing as an individual Bodhisattva: the divine savior. An idea that all good Buddhist?s are bodhisattva?s in the making. An immense compassion for the world of mortals. Has ten perfections (altruism, benevolence and compassion to name a few.) Dharma (in Buddhism): the teaching of Buddha as an exposition of the natural law. The state of nature as it is. The Four truths are part of dharma Triple body of the Buddha: The body of essence, the body of bliss (the Buddha in a heavenly realm surrounded by bodhisattva?s. And the Material Body. Dependent origination: Buddhist doctrine. Instead of Karma as the consequence of actions. Analysis that our experience is the collection of Skandhas, the particular configuration of one moment decides the next moment. Sequence of varying components. The idea that you exist as an individual self is an illusion. What?s important to look at is your own consciousness, not rituals Skandhas: implies perception is not real. What is real may be nirvana but that may not be real depending on the persons belief. Jainism: Belief that eventually all souls will be purified and become gods but this is a very, very long way off. And believe that karma is a physical thing Vedanta: means end of the veda?s. Advaita: the system of pure monism or non dualistic Puja: the rituals of worship. The gestures, the offering of flowers or fruit Darshana: the essential thing is to see the statue and be seen by the divinity that is there. Eye contact as making the connection, commuting with the divinity that way. The eyes are usually very large. The details of how you offer flowers and other offerings. Direct connection between the god and your innermost being. See and be seen by the god. A traditional Hindi wouldn?t say ?I?m going to worship at the temple? but say I?m going to darshana. Murti/ image: expresses a divine entity. Image worship, a way to connect to the gods Yoga: a way of achieving inmost realization by mystical and ascetic practices Jati: a labeling of people and justified by religious purity. Castes in the way the world has to be Dalit: the untouchables class Sati: widows would set themselves on fire (immolate) on their late husbands burial grounds. Dowry: money and things of value, so a women can marry Ramakrishna: from 1836- 86. Takes the mystical end, devotion to Kali. Has visions of Jesus, has visions of Krishna. Manifestations of the same reality. (It?s the same mountain, people are just taking different paths to the top) Traditions out of Bahkti and devotion. He and his wife are honored in the temple of Kali. His version of neo-hinduism, class doesn?t matter. From Bengal. Vivekananda: Ramakrishna?s very important disciple. Swami Vivekananda. Brings this version of Hinduism to Europe and America in a counter missionary movement. (1863-1902). Downplaying the ritual components. Makes the argument that all religions are aimed at the one true god. Presented in a form that will be recognizable to Europeans and americans. Establishes the Vedanta society in New York. Sample essay questions. Support your answers with specific examples as far as possible. 1) Discuss the ways in which sacrifice has been practiced and interpreted in the Vedas, the Upanishads and the puja offered to images of divinities. What elements remain the same. What changes? In Vedic texts, sacrifice began in the beginning of the universe by Purusha?s sacrifice, which divided the world by his body into classes. The primeval sacrifice. Vedic ritual is concerned with holy word, prayer and divine power controlled through sacrificial ritual. Explanations and instructions of the rituals are found in the Brahmanas attached to Vedic hymns. Ritualistic material is inspirited and illustrated by numerous myths and legends. Use of sound very important. Importance of fire In the Upanishad?s the offerings are given symbolic importance that correspond to the cosmos. The ritual act isn?t as important as the knowledge of the forces. Some argue that ritual isn?t the means to the knowledge of the highest reality and to spiritual emancipation. Puja, offerings to the gods, or deities. In contrast to the Vedic sacrifices, which were very elaborate and had a certain area where they could be preformed with different altars, the puja way offerings are made to a statue of a god or idol. - All of the offerings and sacrifices have roots in the Vedas 2) In his ?Religion as a Cultural System,? Clifford Geertz argues that the symbol system of a religion helps to define both perceptions of reality and moods and motivations. How are these two functions related in his theory? Illustrate with an example or two from the traditions of Hinduism. A symbol has the power to evoke certain emotions and feelings with an individual Historically transmitted pattern of meaning embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate and develop their knowledge about and attitudes towards life. The perceptions of reality assist in formulating emotions regarding symbols . It gives importance to the object of worship Dharma is a guide of sorts that tells a person how to live, the universal laws. There are a couple different ideas within Hinduism, one of them is that life isn?t real. It?s a blueprint for how life should be lived and how people should live as close to that model as possible If people Hindi?s try to live in a certain way then they will be motivated to do certain things . Yoga, mantra?s, rituals?? The conception is the symbols meaning Symbols tell us the nature of things but they also evoke certain feelings motives go towards something, where moods are feelings that are temporary The power of religion largely stems from its ability to act upon and transform people's conceptions of the everyday, common-sense world. That is, the moods and motivations induced by religion seem so powerful to believers that only they seem to be the sensible version of what things "really are" ?According to Geertz, religion is "(1) a system of symbols (2) which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men (3) by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." He goes on to explain each of these five points in detail.? 3) In what ways did Buddhism present a challenge to the system of Vedic religion? How was this similar to the reform movements in contemporary Hinduism? How was it different? A major difference that challenged the Vedic religion was the rejection of the caste system. From Parusha and the primeval sacrifice, his body was divided into parts that become the castes of Indian society. It?s similar to reform movements in contemporary Hinduism because of the rejection of certain things that were integral in the early Vedic religion, and considered common practices. The concept of Dharma is present in both Hinduism and Buddhism If religious reform: Buddhism was presented in a way that appealed to people, it kept aspects of the Vedic religion, but was different enough to be considered very different. Social reforms in contemporary India reject many of the things that Buddhism rejected. This includes the caste system, which was outlawed in the 1900?s. 4) What lesson does Uddalaka teach his son using salt and water? What is implied about the nature of the ?self? and the nature of ?salvation?? Just as one is unable to see salt dissolved in water, but they are able to taste it, Uddalaka taught his son that although one may not be able to see the ?True Being?, He is present everywhere in the universe. Although the Brahman is invisible in the Hindu people, He is what makes up their being; the nature of the ?self?. Brahman is the beginning of everything, and instead of ?creating? something from nothing, Uddalaka emphasizes that He projects everything out of His own being ? which is why the Brahman IS the self. Uddalaka also tells his son ?Tat Twam Asi?, which means ?thou art that?. This is the pinnacle of the Upanishads; a truth that means behind and beneath it all, including our own Self, is THAT ? is Brahman. Even when the body passes the soul continues on ? just as when water evaporated the salt that was not apparent by sight before, would remain in the bottom of the bowl. Everything is alive, but only because the Living Self, Brahman, inhabits it. If such presence is withdrawn, then death results. Therefore when the Self leaves the body, the body dies, but not the Self. 5) A recurring feature of the religious traditions of India is the assertion of correspondences between inner experience and the external world. Explain some examples. - Well the atman does refer to the inner self, but from stories and oral tradition the inner self is the external world. We are all one and guru?s realize this after extensive meditation. 6) How did British rule in India set the stage for the various forms of neo-Hinduism? For a thousand years previous to British rule in India, Hinduism was attacked by many through physical genocide and the destruction of Hindu temples and sacred places. Hindus bravely fought against this anti-Hindu holocaust and succeeded for the most part. That is, until the British rule. Once they took control of India, British Christian domination set in and cultural genocide began. In their attempts to destroy traditional Hinduism, they used British educated, spiritually co-opted sons and daughter of Hinduism. These people began to see Hinduism through the eyes of their ?British masters? and saw it as their duty to ?Westernize? and ?modernize? traditional Hinduism to make it more appeasing to their new European rulers. This brought about Neo-Hinduism which was basically a British invented version of traditional Hinduism that became a huge success. Hinduism has taken different forms: Ramakrishna mission, practices the belief that there is only one god, and that different religions are just different ways of worshipping this one god. ?There is only one mountain and many paths leading to it?. Ram Mohan Roy in 1828 founded the Brahma Samaj that professes there is only one god. The flaws on Hinduism, which are caste, child marriage and the practice of sate. Also says that karma and rebirth are illogical. All aiming at Brahman
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